Where was I? Oh yes, After Saturdays lunch came more workshops. First a round up for the New Writers Scheme, where we all look at what works and what can be made better. Most of the published writers have experienced the scheme themselves when trying for publication and know how it feels to be anxiously waiting for that precious feedback. Then came Jessica Hart's workshop on character, plot and emotional tension. If you visit here regularly you'll know I am a huge fan of Jessica's, not only is she a great writer but she really knows her stuff when it comes to sharing her expertise with other writers so it was a really useful workshop. Then I have to admit I skived the last workshop in favour of a quick chat with Jessica before she dashed off and then I had a quick shower - taking care not to fall through the damaged floor of my bathroom - and a nice lie down before the Gala Dinner.
The Gala dinner is always a highlight with everyone dressing up and photographing one anothers shoes. We did take pictures of cleavages one year but I think we'd been in the bar for a long time then. The food at dinner was a bit of a disaster - we learned later that there had been an accident to one of the kitchen staff - but the only edible part of the meal was the soup and roll we had as a starter and the mint that came with the coffee. We did contemplate sending out for pizza on our table but decided it was too late at night. Luckily Sandra Forder came to our rescue once more as it was her birthday and there was cake in her kitchen.
I made it back to my room round about midnight by which time it was raining. Biddy and Anna arrived a few minutes later. I went out into the hall when I heard mild shrieks and giggles from the upstairs landing to find Biddy - dressed in a rather lovely black bra - perched on a chair and waving a pipe from a hoover at the open skylight while Anna hung onto her legs. They managed to close the skylight to stop the rain from pouring in and we finally went to bed after we'd had a conversation about the sex appeal - or not - of the Top Gear presenters.
Sunday saw some rather sore heads in the dining room for breakfast. Next workshop was Freda Lightfoot's 'Creating a Brand', another superb workshop. Then it was Linda Gilliard on exploring all the senses when writing. I'm in two minds about that workshop. The exercises were very good but there some statements made that as someone who has clients, colleagues and friends with vision and hearing issues, troubled me a little.
This was followed by the conference round-up and lunch before the lovely Judy Jarvie gave me a ride to the station where I spent a very happy half an hour comparing bookshelves with Allie Spencer where we discovered we both loved Chaucer and PG Wodehouse.
So there you have it, the insider goss on what we did last weekend. The wonderful Liz Fenwick is giving superbly detailed accounts of all the writers tips she gleaned on her blog - link is in the sidebar.
Now to save up ready for next year - and I think I may have volunteered to deliver a workshop.
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